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TCA: Past and Present

November 28, 2016
By Caroline Sweeney

Hello families!

I am a TCA ‘08 graduate and I am completing my principal internship this fall underneath the guidance of Mrs. Squyres.  After my time at Trinity, I received my bachelor’s in Elementary Education from Sam Houston State University.  I taught two years in Conroe ISD and decided to extend my education.  I am a recent graduate of Tarleton State University with my Master’s in Educational Administration.  I would like to take this opportunity to comment on the changes that I have seen since I have been here compared to when I attended Trinity years ago.  There have been so many positive changes that have occurred over the years mainly because of the blessings that God has given our school and yet, there are still many steadfast principles and traditions that have not changed.

Traditions like Turkey in the Ground. It is unlike any other school’s tradition!  When I try to explain to my friends about how it works they think it is the craziest thing, but it produces some of the best turkey I have ever eaten!  The memories that I made while I was at Trinity during this time, like digging the hole or cutting the turkeys as a senior, are memories that I will always have.  Traditions like the senior gift that will stay at Trinity even when we are gone.  Our graduating class presented the school with a banner that had a Bible verse on it.  Now, as I walk through the secondary building I see the gifts that past senior classes have given the school on the walls.  Traditions like class mission projects.  I still remember the field trips to sort baby clothes at Grace House, serving the homeless at Beautiful Feet, or helping to build a school house in Costa Rica.

When I graduated in 2008, there was 18 people in my graduating class and we only had one class for each grade level.  In 2017, there will be 30 graduating seniors.  One thing that has remained constant at Trinity is small class sizes.  Even though there are more senior students, they have split the classes into two classrooms.  God has blessed TCA with more students and they will not miss out on the “family” feel that is one of the pillars of this school.

When I come to the school every morning I am greeted by a sea of green, navy, and white plaid.  When I read on the facebook page that Trinity was changing the uniform colors, my heart stung a little.  Even today, I wish that I could just throw on my red, navy, and white plaid skirt and be ready for the day!

When I was in high school we had a minimal amount of sports and fine arts opportunities.  The cheerleading squad had six members and we were playing six man football.  Now we are playing eleven man football and have added a drum line this year.  In a couple of years I fully expect to see a Trinity home football field and a band!

When I attended Trinity, they did not have the title of a college preparatory school.  Even though the title was not there, it was implied.  This semester while I have observed several new family interviews and each time, the fear is, “Will my child be prepared for college?”  As a past student I can confidently tell you yes.  I felt beyond prepared academically in college because of the structure that TCA gave me.  Throughout my classes my peers would be unprepared and flustered all the time.  They would feel overwhelmed if they had more than one test a week.   If anything, I felt that college was easier because of the academic preparedness that Trinity prepared for me.  The curriculum not only prepared us academically but we were given study skills and basic organizational skills.

Throughout my time at TCA, we transitioned between spaces to accommodate the student growth.  Space may have been tight, but God always provided for our school.  We used to have only half of the elementary building, the “tin hut” (our gym), and the makeshift classrooms in the church where our walls were hanging curtains.  Over the years we have added the second half of the elementary building, built the Eagle Gym, torn down the “tin hut” and replaced it with a beautiful playground, and built a fantastic three story secondary building.  While I have been at Trinity this school year, I have watched our numbers grow.  The flow of family interviews and new students is unbelievable!  Trinity started their first waiting list in elementary at the end of October.  I still remember the days when new families would line up at 4 a.m. on enrollment day, praying for a spot.  God is providing TCA with new students every year and now we are praying for more space!

Another unwavering pillar at Trinity is how God’s Word is integrated into every subject.  During my time teaching at a public school where you have to “watch” what you say to the students.  You want to evangelize and share God’s Word with your students and their families but you aren’t allowed.  You see a child hurting and there is only so much you can say.  Here at Trinity, the culture is centered around the Bible.  The teachers and the students are constantly praying and reciting Bible verses.  Every decision made is prayed about and reflected on, asking the questions, “How does this align with our mission and vision?” and, “Will this ultimately glorify God?”  This has definitely not changed over the years.

The teachers are one of the most important parts of our school.  My decision to become an educator stems from not only my love for working with children, but from the examples that I have had over the years.  Godly examples that Trinity provided for me.

It has truly been a privilege to spend this semester at Trinity.  I am blessed to be able to see where TCA started and where it is now.  God has blessed our school in unbelievable ways over the years.  The choice that you have made to send your child to Trinity is one that you will never regret and they will never forget.  

Caroline Sweeney